Cobus Reinach has posted an emotional farewell message to Northampton on social media ahead of his departure to Montpellier, the French club he announced in January he would be joining this summer on a three-year deal. The 30-year-old, who featured for South Africa during their 2019 World Cup success, has played in 67 Gallagher Premiership and European games for the Saints.

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However, rather than his three-year stint in England culminating in a Twickenham league final appearance, he hasn’t played since a March 6 win at Worcester due to the coronavirus pandemic and his contract expires at the end of June. “This is definitely not the way I wanted to say goodbye,” he said in a 94-second video message posted on social media.

“Sitting here looking back at the last few seasons I realise that I’m extremely grateful with one, every opportunity I have ever had to put on the Saints jersey. And two, even though I gave my all to the jersey it actually gave so much more back.

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Northampton out-half Dan Biggar guests on the latest episode of The Rugby Pod, the chart-topping show fronted by Andy Goode and Jim Hamilton

“So, for my family and I, this chapter is over but I can tell you it has been nothing short of spectacular. And that has everything to do with the people around us. So to every player, staff member, and especially the supporters, thank you.

“I actually heard about the supporters even before I got here. They said ‘they’re mad, they’re unbelievable’ and I didn’t quite get it. And then I remember standing on the pitch during one game in Franklin’s Gardens, guys were singing ‘oh when the Saints go marching in’.

“I thought to myself, ‘I get it. You guys are the heart to the team’. And now to the boys, I wish I could be there with you guys to go and lift that trophy at Twickenham but I will make a plan to be there and celebrate with you afterwards. For now, all I can say is cheers boys. It’s been one hell of a ride.”

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